What keeps you happy, healthy and well? That’s the question being asked by the new Integrated Care System (ICS) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, as it launches a wide-ranging public engagement exercise to shape priorities for health and care in the years ahead.
ICSs are being formally established across the country from today (1 July) with the aim of improving health and wellbeing, reducing inequalities and providing health and care services for local people. The ICS for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is marking this milestone by launching a nine-week public engagement exercise to guide development of its strategy.
The ICS’s work will be delivered by a strategic partnership of councils, NHS and voluntary and community sector organisations – the Integrated Care Partnership – working alongside the new statutory NHS body, the Integrated Care Board. The ICB is responsible for the day-to-day running of NHS services and budgets.
Chair of the Integrated Care Partnership, Councillor Mike Bell, said: “The creation of Integrated Care Systems represents a huge opportunity. In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, we’ve been working collaboratively for some time – but this will really help us to accelerate that progress on behalf of the people we serve.
“By working together more closely together we can improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in our area – and tackle the inequalities some groups face.
“It all starts with an understanding of what keeps people happy, healthy and well, what gets in the way and what they need more of.
“That’s why we’re launching today’s public engagement exercise, and we want to hear from as many people as possible over the Summer.”
Chair of the system’s Integrated Care Board, Jeff Farrar, said: “The NHS, councils and voluntary organisations have already made great progress in joining up health and social care around individuals’ needs, and we know we have more to do.
“The formal launch of the new ICS today is an opportunity to accelerate this work and break down the barriers between physical, mental health, and social care services. The increased collaboration will also allow us to get more value from every pound we spend.
“This is a true joint effort between health and care services and local people, and we’re keen to hear everyone’s views. I urge people – both the public and staff – to join in the engagement and tell us what matters most to you.”
Local health and care advocacy body Healthwatch is a member of the Integrated Care Board and will be working with the ICS to promote the public engagement exercise.
Chair of Healthwatch for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, Georgie Bigg, said: “Healthwatch welcome the launch of the ICS and look forward to working with NHS organisations, local authorities and other partners to join up health and care around our local populations.
“As the local, independent champion for users of health and care services, we are particularly keen to make sure that people’s voices are heard by health and care providers while supporting ICS colleagues with this summer’s engagement exercise. I encourage everyone to take part and share your views so that services are designed that truly meet your needs.”
Insights gathered over the course of the nine-week engagement will help the ICS prepare a strategy to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the local population over the next two, five, 10 and 20 years.
The engagement exercise will run until midnight on 2 September 2022 and there will be a range of ways for people to have their say, including an online survey and face-to-face engagement events.
More information about the engagement exercise and the new Integrated Care System in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, is available at bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/haveyoursay